Supporting Our Communities in Times of Need
While CAP has long been associated with search and rescue missions, its work also includes disaster relief and communications, as well as counterdrug and homeland security missions.
Search and rescue remains an important service provided by CAP members, however. CAP still flies 90 percent of all federal inland SAR missions, as directed by the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center (AFRCC) at Tyndall AFB, Fla. CAP also supports the Joint Rescue Coordination Centers in Alaska, Hawaii and Puerto Rico
On average, each year CAP members fly more than 100,000 hours in operational missions and save about 75 lives. CAP provides air and ground support for disaster relief, flying officials to remote locations, transporting blood or live tissue to critical care sites and performing aerial damage assessment.
CAP has one of the largest unified communications networks in the country, available 24/7.
In 1986, Congress authorized CAP to assist government and law enforcement agencies in the fight to eliminate illicit drug use, production and sale in the US and its territories. CAP now provides reconnaissance, communications and transportation for counterdrug missions.
CAP's missions succeed through a seamless interplay of technology and teamwork. With new developments like satellite imagery and internet-based reporting, CAP is emerging as the resource of choice to support our nation's strategy for homeland security.
Homeland SecurityOur First Missions are Now Our Newest Missions
Civil Air Patrol is uniquely positioned to conduct operations in support of the nation's homeland security initiatives. With decades of operational experience, CAP can provide low-cost airborne assets across the nation, all manned by mission-ready personnel who have demonstrated capability to work with federal, military, state and local agencies across the spectrum of homeland security.
As the civilian auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force, CAP has now been placed under the Air Force Homeland Security Directorate. CAP leaders recently met with U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge to discuss CAP's expanding role in protecting the home skies. CAP members have proven themselves capable, having assisted in relief efforts after the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11. CAP also provided security for the Winter Olympics soon thereafter and has been asked by NASA to provide flights above its spacecraft launch sites.
CAP increases our nation's security capabilities by providing airborne reconnaissance and imagery, disaster and damage assessment, airborne transportation of personnel, equipment and critical supplies, and multi-layered communications support. CAP can provide manpower for communications and emergency operations centers, search and rescue teams, and ground support teams.
CAP can put a manned airborne platform over any major city or strategic resource in the country in less than two hours, safely and cost-effectively.
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